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Before booking an air ticket, a buyer’s final decision is influenced by a wide range of factors, from its cost to a convenient mobile app to look for information about the flight. Google analysts, backed by Kantar TNS, undertook a study and determined what matters for Russians when choosing air tickets, how much time is required to make a decision to purchase them, as well as what vacation destinations are most popular.
Today, a large part of respondents (68%) buy air tickets online. Those who prefer offline channels are almost half as many. Interestingly, online booking in Russia is almost as widespread as in the USA where this rate is 77%.
The study showed that during the whole decision path (from the choice of the destination to ticket booking and clarification of the flight information), travellers use digital tools.
Read more about how to work with various digital tools at every stage of a customer journey in our article Travel Digital Marketing: Best Online Advertising Tools in Russia for Tourism Industry.
The easier and more familiar a flight is, the higher changes are that a traveller will go along the whole way to purchase online. Among those who flew within the country, 43% did not use offline tools at all. 28% used both offline and online resources. Digital travellers made up their mind faster: 31% of them decided to buy a ticket within several hours.
A modern traveller purchases tickets with the help of a PC or a laptop. Most respondents (60%) told that they prefer these very devices. Despite of the popularity of online booking, only 8% use smartphones for these purposes. Generally, mobile apps are popular among young travellers; therefore, the number of bookings made via smart gadgets may increase.
According to the statistics presented in the study, most often modern Russian tourists go on vacation in couples (53%). However, there are also lovers to travel alone: their share is 28%. Travels in a group of more than four people are not popular in Russia: only 8% are ready to travel in a group.
Most decisions are made fast: more than half of respondents (51%) decide on a trip within several days, one quarter of respondents made this decision within several weeks, while 15% book tickets already in several hours after finding a suitable flight. Ticket purchase planning several months before a departure is dead and gone—only 8% Russian travellers have it on their mind in advance.
In Russia, just like all over the world, the price of tickets remains the most important criterion when choosing service of one or another airline. A large part of respondents (70%) pay attention to this very factor as a matter of priority. However, positive impressions at the booking stage and during the flight have no small share in the choice of services. This, in its turn, has the greatest impact on loyalty of a client to an air carrier.
Among all respondents, 30% are members of loyalty programs. It is worthy of note that the absolute majority of them do not have a golden or a silver status. Instead, members save up miles that later can be exchanged for flights.
European destinations are in demand of Russian tourists: 40% respondents to the survey go on vacation exactly to Europe, while 31% book domestic flights.
As for the vacation duration, most respondents (38%) choose a 2-week vacation. One holiday week is popular as well among 36% Russian tourists.
Every traveller goes along a unique path to buy an air ticket. There is no average scenario—a decision is influenced by a lot of things: search, selection of a destination and an airline, comparison of ticket prices, and selection of a flight. For instance, more than one third of travellers change their mind on their way to purchase. 56% book tickets of the company that they considered from the very beginning, while 39% choose different offers at the end.
Most travellers consider offers of different companies even if then they choose a carrier that came to their mind first. 32% buy tickets of only one airline, as a matter of principle, being not interested in other offers.
72% travellers, when choosing an airline, rely on their experience, and only 2% on advertising. Word-of-mouth marketing is trusted seldom—only 9% make up their mind based on someone’s opinion. Online search before the purchase helped 10% travellers choose their carrier.
An important buying factor is customer loyalty. It is affected by an attractive price, positive booking and flight experience, as well as destinations that the company offers.
Loyalty program members, most often, do not have any special status—they use their membership just to save up points. Customer loyalty does not eliminate curiosity—these users still compare prices and consider offers of different carriers. However, 43% of those who save up points prioritize ‘their’ company from the very beginning.
Do you want to learn more about Russian tourists? Download our study The Russian Tourism Market Report: Trends, Analysis & Statistics. How to impress Russian tourists and attract them to your country or write RMAA Travel experts, and we will help you attract more Russian tourists.
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About the Author
Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog